I meet a lot of people in my professional life who keep asking me about how to lose weight without exercise. My answer usually is: It is not impossible, but if it is laziness that compels you to ask such a thing, then I would advise you to change your entire way of thinking on the matter. For one, it requires a very strict diet! Exercising can contribute a great deal to your overall weight loss endeavors, but physical exercise also has a pivotal role in giving you the tone and firmness of muscles and a whole bunch of other health benefits you have never even dreamed of. Your skin will not get smooth and tight, and most importantly, your muscles will not get the tone and firmness just because you lose weight.
Obviously, I am not talking about certain health conditions (various diseases or other joint-related medical conditions) that make it virtually impossible for one to undertake any forms of exercise, but it may also happen that someone is just in a life situation where going to the gym x times a week is impossible. If you belong to this group of people, then losing weight is still possible, but you would have to gradually adopt a proper diet and follow every single rule I am about to outline in this article. The reason why paying attention to your diet is of utmost importance is because if you take too few calories per day, you run the risk of slowing down your metabolism, and, as a consequence, your entire weight loss endeavor.
Now let’s see how we can avoid running unnecessary circles.
What are the things I should try staying away from if I want to lose weight fast without exercise?
- all processed carbohydrate sources ( FYI, even lactose-free milk contains sugar)
- food items containing saturated fatty acids and other bad fat sources, such as sunflower oil or palm oil
- Restaurant meals ( almost every single restaurant is using ingredients where they work with food items you cannot check)
- Ordered meals (the same thing as in the case of restaurant meals)
- Dairy products, except for non-fat or low-fat cottage cheese.
- artificial sweeteners (Light Coke also falls into this category; Chewing gum with moderation if it is truly something you cannot live without; BUT do not chew it all day long!)
- Fruits (you can only eat the ones that have low natural sugar content, such as green apples, strawberries or lemon. Also, try to schedule your fruit intake to the mornings. Fructose is not our ally)
- Skipping morning or evening meals for any reason
- Magic teas, herbs and other Magical Wonders you see on TV
When am I allowed to eat?
Regulating your calorie intake to lose weight is the number one thing you must pay attention to. You may eat whenever you want, from the time you wake up till the hour you go to sleep, but I would try to start working on implementing a light meal every 2,5-3 hours. These meals should always contain some form of protein source, natural fibers, carbs ( in moderation, of course) and some essential fatty acids. If you follow this pattern, you can keep your level of blood sugar stable at all times, which, in turn, will make you crave for food less, and it will also initiate fat burning and metabolism-enhancing mechanisms in your body. These are the ideal conditions for potential weight loss.
What and how much to eat?
- Carbohydrate sources: Basmati Rice, Bulgur Wheat, Pearl Barley, Buckwheat, Cereal, Pastry (Whole Grain only),Whole-grain pasta and every other low carb sources that have a medium glycemic index. Carb quantity: Maximum allowed carb intake should not exceed two times the amount of your total bodyweight. This is the amount that should be a starting point in your diet, and you will have to gradually decrease it as you go.
- Protein sources: Chicken breast, Turkey breast, Fish, Egg whites, cottage cheese (non-fat or low-fat),protein shakes. Your protein intake should be 1,5 or 2 times the amount of your total bodyweight. As you decrease your carb intake, so you should increase protein consumption in the process.
- Fats: focus mainly on essential fatty acids! This can work with 1-2 teaspoons of linseed oil, Omega-3 capsules, Fish oil tablets or a handful of walnuts during the day. Cooking and baking should be done with Coconut oil (or at least this is what I always recommend).
- Fibers: every meal you eat should have high-fiber food items in them. Vegetables and other fiber-containing nutrients are such food items. There are a lot of fibers in vegetables, so you do not have to keep counting them. The more, the better
- ALWAYS, and I mean ALWAYS eat what YOU prepared for yourself at home. Otherwise, you will never know what your current meal contains.
Supplements to use:
I do not think that fat burners should be present at the very beginning of your diet. If you really want, you may use Lecithin. Later, when your weight loss stops, or you feel that your metabolism has slowed down significantly, you may go ahead and pick a good thermogenic fat burner. You have a large number of options to choose from. You may try chrome that artificially lowers your blood sugar, thus decreasing your appetite. There are also lipotropic compounds, such as choline, inositol, or chitosan that all hinder the accumulation of fat in your body.
Erm….how about snacking?
NOPE! You are only allowed to eat what is in your diet plan. No compromises. If you have reached your goal or you are struggling to get past a certain point in your weight loss endeavor, never go back to where you started by looking for alternatives and more comfortable ways of achieving the same result, because you WILL NOT. These are the things that lead you to cheat on your meals in the first place, and, once you do that, there is no turning back.
Takeaway: So, can you lose weight without exercise? The answer is yes, but this cannot and should not be a long-term solution. It is a general rule of thumb that whenever you decrease carbohydrate intake, your body is forced to use fat reserves to provide energy for your muscles and to be able to maintain other bodily functions. As a consequence, you lose weight, of course. But this does not necessarily imply that you will only lose fat. You will also lose muscle(not just in your arms but important core muscles as well), which is not something you want if you would like to stay healthy in the long run.
The real question is this: Are you willing to put your entire immune system at risk by merely relying on your otherwise taxing diet? If yes, then go ahead. If your answer is no, then it is time to step it up!
- Garrow JS, Summerbell CD.Department of Human Nutrition, Medical College of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, UK. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition [1995, 49(1):1-10]
- Kristen M. Beavers ,et al. Effect of protein source during weight loss on body composition, cardiometabolic risk and physical performance in abdominally obese, older adults: A pilot feeding study.The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging [Jan 2015, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 87-95]
- Amely M Verreijen,et al. A high whey protein–, leucine-, and vitamin D–enriched supplement preserves muscle mass during intentional weight loss in obese older adults: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 
- Scott HA,et al. Determinants of weight loss success utilizing a meal replacement plan and/or exercise, in overweight and obese adults with asthma. Respirology [2015; 20: 243–250.]
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